Evanescent (Review)

By Gabriella Lepore
March 15th, 2013 | Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Synopsis: “Then it is settled,” Felix declared. “Come hell or high water, when this is all over, at least one of us here will not make it out alive.”

When Bronwen Snow is pulled from her cottage in the middle of the night, she finds herself seeking the help of three mysterious boys who reside in an abandoned castle deep in the hillside. With only a hasty handwritten note and a vague sense of dread to guide her, Bronwen is forced to put her trust in the eccentric and willful Felix Cavara and his eternal curse – immortality

This book really draws you into the story. It's short but really well written and the type of story that is easy to get lost in. What I think I really loved about the story was that it read like a true folktale even if it was a classically formulate YA fantasy. It had all the makes of one of those epic stories. In fact, as I was reading it, I couldn't help but to be reminded of someone of my favorite Celtic Folk stories from when I was a child and it was awesome. 

No to mention there's a Folklore shout out with one of the character's names! Loki <3

I love all this fantastical and magic related so I knew that I would love this book but I did not expect to love it as much as I did! It truly was such a great book. It's sweet, witty, funny and there's romance that doesn't completely overpower the story.

 Typically, I will say that I am not generally a fan of what I like to call the 'instant love' phenomenon. For so many reasons, the first being it's completely shattered my own romantic expectations (but then pretty much every young adult novel has done that), secondly it's just so unrealistic. Somehow in this story, I didn't seem to mind it! So that was definitely a bonus. 

Call me heartless if you will, I didn't cry. I mean I was moved, but I didn't get to the point where tears were actually streaming down my cheeks. Fair warning though, you might get there! 

 I recommend it to all YA fantasy fans you should pick up this book. 

Gabriella Lepore lives on the coast of Wales in the United Kingdom. She began writing at an early age and grew up with a passion for all things supernatural—especially witches! She currently has six Young Adult books in print: Evanescent, The Blackheath Witches, How I Found You, Secrets In Phoenix, and The Witches of the Glass Castle books 1 & 2.

Black Lotus (review)

The Black Lotus
Author: Claire Warner
562 Pages | September 15th 2015 | Create Space

....though I would dearly love to play court to you, I would hurt you more than any other.

It is 1752.
The year that will change the life of heiress Melissa De Vire. As she makes her first fumbling steps into society, she meets the handsome young cad Justin Lestrade and his world tears her perceptions apart. For Justin is more than he appears and his secrets and enemies are manifold. Drawn irresistibly to him, she finds herself sinking into a realm of feuds, magic and old curses and her life will never again be the same.

This book was fun, I loved the characters and the story was really well written bringing you completely into a different period of time. It was well written but a little bit long, I think it could have been wrapped up a little bit tighter. I would definitely recommend this read to people who are fans of historical fiction and paranormal romance. It was fun to see an independent streak in the heroine that only grows stronger and more defined as the book carries on. 

There is really only one thing that that bothered me. The names. Justin and Melissa. It sounds like the two kids down the street. Justin is an English version of the latin name Iustinus or German name Justus that has been around for ages, however, the English version was not commonly used until the 20th century.  Melissa as an English name only BEGAN to be used in the 18th century so the pairing together felt wildly out of place for me. (Sue me, I'm a name nerd)  *insert my statistics about 18th century names here* No, I won't.

It just felt odd as I was reading, as though the names just sounded cool so who cares.  (The names do sounds cool by the way, I have nothing against the names themselves it's their placement that is bothering me.) This is just me however, because I have an intimate knowledge of these random sorts of facts. I think I would have been more drawn into the story, more lost in this reality if the names had been different. It sounds sort of ridiculous but it is true.

By day I am a boring civil servant, but by night (and at weekends) I write stories. I love fiction, I love the way that words can draw you from your own everyday world. 

I love to read. As a child I read all of the Enid Blyton books and devoured Roald Dahl. As a teenager, I discovered LJ Smith, Anne McCaffrey, Tamora Pierce, David Eddings and went through the phase of reading Point Horrors. As an adult, I found Kelley Armstrong, Raymond E Feist, Georgette Heyer, The Brontes, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Sheridan La Fanu and Henry James. I cannot imagine live without books. 

So I have began to write for myself. My characters live in my head and from time to time they want to live in other peoples as well. I want to share them with you and I hope you love them as much as I do.

Obsidian (Release Bltiz)

Obsidian (The Dragon Kings #1)
By Kimberly Loth
200 Pages | February 17th, 2016

Aspen Winters’s whole world is about to change . . .

Seventeen year old Aspen is a skydiving, rock climbing, adrenaline junky who is fascinated by the dragons living in Yellowstone Park. And no human had ever gotten close enough to even touch one, let alone study them.
For her, the dragons are a way to escape a painful past and avoid getting too close to anyone. But after meeting the hot new guy at school, Obsidian “Sid” King, Aspen feels strangely drawn to the mysterious boy, even though she doesn’t trust him. Yet he’s the one person that shares her obsession with all things dragon.

Not only is Sid not human, he’s a seriously hot dragon in human form. But not just any dragon—he’s destined to become the next king. Yet when Aspen stumbles into his life, he finds himself tempted to break all the rules just to be with her.

While most people fear and avoid the national parks because of the resident dragons, Aspen spends most of her free time searching for them and getting the rare photo. But when people start dying in the park, every one suspects the dragons. Now the life of every dragon in existence is threatened unless Aspen can prove their innocence.

As the Sid and Aspen uncover a sinister plot to destroy the tenacious peace between humans and dragons, it becomes increasingly difficult for Sid to ignore his feelings for Aspen … even if it means forsaking not only his crown, but also his life.

Travis Springs usually didn’t hike in the national parks. He preferred his mountains dragon free, thank you very much, but his buddies told him this hike was safe and worth the risk.

Everyone knew the best hikes were in the national parks, and Travis figured he’d have to get over his aversion to dragons if he was going to be serious about climbing mountains.

The scenery was breathtaking. The valley below him shimmered in greens and yellows. Not to mention the mist that rose from the steam vents covering the entire Yellowstone floor.

He stopped to take a drink. According to the map, he was a quarter of a mile from the top. This was one of the smaller mountains, and so it had to be safe. It was rumored that the dragons in Yellowstone typically didn’t come down from the very top of the tallest peaks.

Travis looked up and saw a gold speck high in the sky. He shivered and watched the path as he walked and went over in his head the words he read and heard over the last few weeks. Dragons didn’t eat people. There were no documented cases. His fear was irrational, but then again most fears were.
He concentrated on the ground and climbed up the rocky terrain. After about twenty minutes, he finally made it to the top.

Travis refused to look up at the sky and surveyed the valley below him. In the distance a herd of buffalo grazed in the plains. He took a few deep breaths and felt his fear subside. He’d been silly.
He took a chance and peeked at the sky. The speck looked closer, and his stomach clenched. But then he reminded himself that because he reached the top, the speck would obviously be closer.
Travis’s hands shook as he took a drink of his water. He convinced himself that he’d spend fifteen minutes or so and then head back down. But he didn’t waste all day climbing to the top, just to race to the bottom.

Travis dug in his bag and found his camera.

The air around him suddenly felt ten degrees warmer. Sweat beaded on Travis’s forehead. A hot wind whooshed from above him. He clutched at his camera and looked up.

The golden underbelly of the dragon was only about ten feet above him, flying over him quickly. The thing had to be a hundred feet long from snout to the tip of his tail. Travis felt his jeans go wet. If he lived to tell this tale, he’d leave out that detail. He reminded himself to breathe.

As fast as it had come, it was gone. Travis couldn’t move. He watched the dragon turn and head back toward him. Travis clutched the camera and took a picture as the dragon opened its wide mouth. Its teeth were three feet long and wicked sharp.

Seconds before the jaws clamped down on him, he dropped the camera. The air from the dragon’s throat blistered his skin, but it didn’t spew fire. Travis’s final thought was, “What a horrible way to die.”

As the dragon flew away, thoroughly pleased with his meal, he didn’t realize he left behind not one, but two souvenirs. The camera.

And a foot.

Kimberly Loth can’t decide where she wants to settle down. She’s lived in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina. She finally decided to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. Currently, she lives in Cairo, Egypt with her husband and two kids. 

She is a high school math teacher by day (please don’t hold that against her) and YA author by night. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures. Kissed is her first novel.

Twilight (Review)

Twilight ( Twilight #1)
By Stephenie Meyer
498 pages | September 6th, 2006 | Little, Brown and Company

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn't know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

I know I have referenced my experience with Twilight in some of my other reviews, so I decided I would write it out for you all. Twilight and I have a complicated relationship. I first read the series in 2008 the summer after that I graduated high school. I was coaching at a soccer camp for two weeks and all the kids were talking about this book. FYI They were talking about Breaking Dawn so I was an entire series behind. Still, it caught my interest. So I asked what books they were talking about and alas, Twilight came into my life.

I didn't even know at this time, that the film was about to be released in November of the same year. So, when we had our coaches weekend off. I bought Twilight in town (Since I'd already finished the other 4 books I'd brought with me) and began my journey.

Let me break it down for you on my first experience.

Things I Liked: 

Edward Cullen: If we take away the creepy stalker portion. Which, I was admittedly oblivious to when I first read the book. He is first and foremost the modern gentleman. Except, that he's only a gentleman because he was raised in an era where it was expected of him to be. In contrast to the Erics and Mike Newton's of their world, it was refreshing. It was the true fantasy. For me, it wasn't that he was this sparkly vampire, it was that he was a gentleman, with standards and morals and respect. He obviously had his flaws (overprotective much?) but at the time, he was what the Jane Austen fan in me was dying for. (Still is admittedly. Where is Mr. Darcy?)

Jacob Black: Not Jacob necessarily, but his whole story, his family, his life. The whole reservation. It's really interesting the way it was all brought together with the legends, why the 'cold people' aren't allowed on their land. This was a well thought out portion of the book that continued for me.

Things I Didn't' Like: 

Bella Swan: I know she is supposed to be there every girl. Average, not too pretty, but I just can't stand her. This makes the book particularly difficult because if you can't stand your narrator there's a problem. She just makes a lot of dumb decisions and doesn't really redeem herself. (Unfortunate to say this continues through the series). She bleeds too easily, and I understand being clumsy but if I returned back from a trip with my boyfriend all beat to hell after having 'accidentally fallen down the stairs and through a window' I'm pretty sure my parents would have had him arrested. Particularly if one of my parents was a law enforcement official.

Jacob Black: I know he's also under my likes but come on. People complain about Edward being possessive, but my God, Jacob never even dates Bella, ever, and he behaves like he has some sort of monopoly over her time and attention. Even in this book when he's a year young than her, barely ever sees her because they go to different schools. He somehow still manages to behave with some sort of right to her.

NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO ANYBODY. This is what particularly bothered me about the series. Both Jacob and Edward are emotionally abusive in their own right. Luckily Bella can make her own decisions (Even if those decisions are always terrible, ridiculously awful decisions)

I binge read this series. Once I returned home I bought the next three and finished them all in one week at the beach. After I was done, I felt obsessed. I was a Twihard. It wasn't until the film came out, and I saw some of my favorite moments played out visual I started to second guess myself. So I went back. When I re-read it, I found that the content I had so eagerly sucked up, was now bothering me. Don't know if it's because I'm older now, or because I wasn't a fan of the casting. I don't know but I can definitely now scratch Twihard off my list of Fandom Titles. I still give it three stars because I cannot deny the fact that I was swept up in this series.

Stephenie Meyer's life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mother of three young sons woke-up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head.

"Though I had a million things to do, I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering."

Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, and wrote it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight. With encouragement from her older sister (the only other person who knew she had written a book), Meyer submitted her manuscript to various literary agencies. Twilight was picked out of a slush pile at Writer's House and eventually made its way to the publishing company Little, Brown where everyone fell immediately in love with the gripping, star-crossed lovers.

Twisted Sisters (Review)

Twisted Sisters (The Orion Circle #2)
By: Kimber Leigh Wheaton
170 Pages | October 27th 2015 | Sea Dragon Press

 It’s a child’s toy—what could go wrong?

While playing with a spirit board, two sorority sisters summon the vindictive spirits of three women brutally murdered by a psychopath. Join Logan, Kacie, and the rest of the Orion Circle as they delve into the disturbing events of the past to find the key to freeing the spirits.

But this isn’t any ordinary haunting.  These ghosts were banished before, and now they have returned more powerful than anyone could have imagined. Anger breeds hatred and hatred leads to darkness—these phantoms are on the verge of losing their last spark of humanity and becoming completely lost to the shadows.

Can Logan and Kacie convince the tortured souls to embrace the light and move on, or will the spirits succumb to the hypnotic pull of evil, leading to an eternity of torment and suffering?


From the author of Tortured Souls, comes the second installment of The Orion Circle series. When I first started this book I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I didn't know the two girls that were arguing which was a bit confusing. Things were happening really quick and when there's a spirit board involved you now things are about to go badly. 

Nothing good every comes from a spirit board! NOTHING. I've seen every movie, read every book. Do not summon the spirits people. Don't do it.

Except, they did it. Just do happens three of their old Sorority sisters were murdered there forty years earlier. You just had to use a spirit board didn't you?

Sorority House. Haunting. Old Murders. It's Scream Queens the book version! Except, maybe just a little bit more fun and a little less gory! I had never read this series until I was given a free copy of both this book, and the first in the series to read. Well I loved them. Really well written. I like the way the characters interact with one another, plus the element of supernatural is always a favorite of mine.

This book was different than the first as it took place mostly from Logan's POV rather than Kacie's. It was kind of nice to get to see a big of a different take on what was going on. The book was such a fun read, I can't wait to read the continuation!

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. In addition to writing, she works as an editor for two publishers as well as select indie authors. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs and lots of dragons. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, video games, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) Winner of the 2014 Rising Star Award at the BTS Red Carpet Awards in NOLA.

The Clay Lion (Promo Post)

What if you could go back in time to save the person you love the most?

The rules are simple. If you want to travel back in time, you need to be at least eighteen years old. You can only travel within your own lifespan for a maximum of six months. And above all else, you must never, ever, change the past.

But that's exactly what Brooke Wallace plans to do.

As Brooke faces existence without her beloved brother, his life cut short by a rare disease, she can think of only one solution - travel back in time to prevent his death. However, her attempts at fixing the past challenge her to confront everything she believes to be true about herself. And ultimately, she is forced to discover whether or not we can ever truly be in charge of our own destiny.


Inspired by common threads of the human experience which unite us to one another, as well as the passions of her own heart, Amalie Jahn enjoys writing young adult fiction as a way to share her vision of the world with others. She lives in the United States with her husband, two children, and three extremely well-fed cats. She is also glad time travel does not yet exist.

Don't Call Me Kit Kat (Review)

Don't Call Me Kit Kat
By K.J Farnham
312 pages | April 20th 2015 | Createspace

Junior high is where things really start to happen. Cliques form and break apart. Couples are made and destroyed. And a reputation is solidified that you won’t ever be able to escape. Everything you do and say, and everyone you spend your time with, matters.

Katie Mills knows that. She gets it. That’s why she tried so hard to get in with the cool girls at school. And why she was so devastated when those efforts found her detained for shoplifting and laughed out of cheer squad tryouts.

But Katie has more to worry about than just fitting in. Her parents are divorced and always fighting. Her sister never has time for her. And her friends all seem to be drifting apart. Even worse? The boy she has a crush on is dating the mean girl at school.

Everything is a mess, and Katie doesn’t feel like she has control over any of it. Certainly not over her weight, which has always topped out at slightly pudgier than normal—at least, according to her mother.

So when she happens to catch one of the popular girls throwing up in the bathroom one day, it sparks an idea. A match that quickly engulfs her life in flames.

Is there any going back once she gets started down this path?

And would she even want to if she could?

This book spoke to me. I have never personally suffered from an eating disorder, but I have had friends who have. While on the surface I felt like I understood what it was like, I have never really read a narrative that got to the core of understanding like this did. 

This book was beautifully written and accurately depicted the voice of a teenager. This didn’t sound like an adult, trying to sound like a teenager, it felt real. 

This book isn’t a fun, happy story. It’s a true gritty look at the horrors that can be present when being a teenager and the different types of struggles they face daily. My sisters are fourteen and twelve and I am demanding that they read this book.  They too already have friends that are facing these issues and soon enough, though I hope not, it could be them. I think this book brings a real look to the issues, a truth that was missing. 

Every other book I’ve read where the character has an eating disorder (whether it's acknowledged as that or not) it’s mostly passed over, or worse praised as a diet. I remember reading Go Ask Alice, and while I praise that book for scaring me the hell away from drugs, I remember when the protagonist basically eats nothing but diet coke and loses a bunch of weight. Written as a diary she’s more or less bragging about the fact and how it finally gets her what she wants. 

This is a terrible approach.  I relate to Katie. Wanting to be accepted, wanting to fit in, to feel beautiful, to be that extra little bit of something so that maybe, those people who really aren’t worth your time, will finally look at you in a positive light. It brought me back to an awful time in my own life. 

I legitimately found myself crying when I read this book and while no one wants to be sad, I find that’s the mark of a good story. If you can move me to tears, anger, attachment, any sort of real emotion, you’re done your job. I am having a hard time describing how much I loved this book in words.  I think everyone should read this book. I think it gives an insight to other teenagers to their own behaviours, but I also think it’s an important read for adults with teens in their lives so they can understand that extra bit. 

I recommend this as a must-read. 

Yes, it’s sad but life is sad. Cue the emo flip.

But actually. READ THIS BOOK!!

K. J. Farnham is a former educator turned author and freelance writer. She was born and raised in a suburb of Milwaukee and now lives in western Wisconsin with her husband, three children and three cats.